half smashed.

Went and got myself all shook up there in early May.

Saying goodbye to a friend, breaking the news of that goodbye to the family, and then trudging through the days and weeks that followed in a lonely daze.  Usually, I'll write my way out of a funk like that, the letters initially fumbling around in the darkness, forming at last alliances in the eventual shape of words that finally band together into sentences that generate light enough to illuminate, however faintly, a way back onto the path.

Didn't happen this time, at least not in quick fashion.

The letters remained lifeless for weeks on end, not even making any noticeable effort to get to their feet much less team up with others to grant my sorrow voice.  To be fair, they'd given what they could in allowing me to give first report of the loss, but then they, I don't know, went into mourning or perhaps just fell over too exhausted from the effort to consider a return to action any time soon.

When runners can't run, they sulk and they fester.  They rot.  Even crap runners.

The same for writers, even if they are just hacks.

The letters, the words would not come, but I could and did still run though without the normal spark and certainly without the usual joy.  And, if you know me, that joy is pretty much the only point that I'm driving at in the first place.  To move forward without joy was heartbreak on top of heartbreak.

No sign of recovery in the letters, no hope of words, sentences, or healing paragraphs.

Deafening silence.

I tried to shrug off the not-writing.  "Just taking a little break," I'd tell myself, relieved that no one else was listening or needed convincing because the pitch was too poor to possibly end in a sale.

I tried to look on the bright side.  "You've got your health!"  Yep.  Lotta good that was doing me.

Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.

What happened to seeing the glass as half full?  Had I really become a half empty guy?

There was a teetering on the brink of becoming a full blown "shit, that glass is bone dry, long since empty" guy until I really stopped and gave the whole how-much-water-is-in-that-damn-glass proposition a proper think-through.

Half full, half empty, what's the difference?

Well, Leon, the difference is...ahem, let me just stop you right there.  I get it, but, the thing is, pondering that water level requires a recognition of the container and what space is available within that container and there's something inherent in the word "contain" that makes me immediately think of confines, of fences, of walls.  Here I was struggling to reclaim the joy while using an expression that relies upon confines, fences, and walls, constructs that certainly do not bring me any joy in the first place. 

None whatsoever.

Confines are shackles and I can't bear the idea of being restrained in any fashion.

Fences conjure up thoughts of selfishness, entitlement, "mine, mine, mine" tantrums, and the expectation of being told to keep out.

Walls make me think of being indoors which makes me think of not being outdoors which makes me restless.

And restlessness motivates me, gets me moving, shoves me out of doors to scale walls and climb over fences.  Restlessness drives me to shed confines, wiggle free of shackles, and...MOVE.  Movement, especially when openly acknowledged and celebrated as a counter to confines, fences, and walls brings me joy.

Some obstacles exist beyond our control, but other times we put them in our own way.  Often we are personally responsible for the walls and fences that stand in the way of whatever has the greatest potential to heal.  Sometimes we block out the joy. 

It was there, cloaked in a fog of sadness and loss, but there all along.

I was still moving but not acknowledging the gift of that ability to move.  But it was there, as were the letters.  They hadn't been lying there unresponsive.  They'd been pressed flat to the floor of my brain by the weight of my guilt and grief, gasping for air and trying to hold fast long enough for me to step aside and let them rise.

That guilt and grief filled a depressing glass all the way to the brim and there was nothing positive in its being full.

Curse that glass, full or empty.

Well, that glass is no more.  I smashed it.  Not half way, but all the way.  Shattered it.

My heart can go on hurting while on the move, healing too by no longer being safely hidden, "protected" by those glass walls.  Those walls had me not moving, not fully.

Those walls had me sulking, festering, rotting, but that's over.

Those walls are smashed, shattered, gone.

Sulking, festering, rotting is not doing glad and that just can't be.

I'm going running in the morning with my eyes, arms, and heart wide open.  I'm going moving and let it be known, joy, I am coming for you.

Just saying that makes me think I may have already found you.

1 comment:

  1. Grief is cruel in it's ability to take that which is most vital and soothing to us. Whenever I faced heartbreaking loss, grief always took the joy of running and reading and healing was always seen by the return of that joy. Peace to you as you get your joy back.